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Caps @ Thrashers, 7 PM in Atlanta. Pre-Vacation game.

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01-27-2011, 11:08 AM
  #276
txpd
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@Capsman-it was cardiomyopathy/congestive heart failure. ken was fun to listen to and a nice guy. very giving of his time. particularly with kids like me.
the playoff misery can really work your head. it does mine. since they always lose, should they ever win it will be heaven.

Beating the trap. I would suggest that the caps did beat the trap last night. the trap is a neutral zone defense that results in odd man breaks when the play if forced thru it. the caps played most of the night in the atlanta zone and didnt have turnovers turned into goals against which is the definition of beating the trap. what they didnt beat was the thrashers d zone defense and goaltender.

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01-27-2011, 11:12 AM
  #277
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I will take a stab at it. Beating the trap requires proper entry, usually dumping it in if the center or blue is clogged. The key, I think you have to have the slow dump to pound the defensemen assuming we dont have 12 Chimera's that will always get to that puck first. You pound that guy, the puck magically always ends up on a Caps stick, the defense virtually frozen in their skates. We have to pounce on that moment. Simply dumping and then expecting our guys to somehow outwork someone that is of equal size and strength in the same profession... becomes a coin flip at best. "Outwork them" falls on deaf ears IMAAO. Teams on average, all things equal, generally work the same amount, right?

You have to be methodical and systematically pound a certain Dman. Figure out which guy cant take the hit to make the play. Target him. No more Mr. Nice guy. Fack politcal correctness and target someone that is injured if he is the weakest link. Survival of the fittest.

When we talk 1 goal decides a game, every single advantage needs to be exploited to make the game more than a coin flip. Beating the trap? Starts with beating the trap out of the defensemen (I put that in for you Tex).

Also, its critical to finish your best chances, usually the PP. You cant choke with your teams best scoring chance.
So we're essentially trying to trap the opponent in a breakout formation, force the turnover through physicality and tight coverage, and capitalize on that turnover as the net should be open if the opponent is in a breakout formation? (That is if we're NOT playing the trap)

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01-27-2011, 11:34 AM
  #278
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Originally Posted by blokeyhighlander View Post
I know very little about hockey X's and O's but my guess is that you have to get the puck in deep constantly and work to get the puck. You have to wear down the opposing team through dump and chase and you must take short shifts to keep the energy level high.

But when you talk about dumping the puck, applying pressure, and taking short shifts being necessary to beat the trap our top lines just don't do this. This is why the bottom lines have been contributing and guys like MaJo and Hendricks who hustle to the puck on every play are the ones getting the chances.

I might be wrong, but that's my guess. Curious to hear others responses.
The key to beating the trap or any structured defensive system is to be able to create chances from forcing the opposing defenders to move out of position, instead of waiting for opportunities to present themselves. The players without the puck either need to be open for a pass or be creating lanes for the puck carrier by drawing the defenders out of position. In other words, being unpredictable and able to attack from different angles.

Of course Bruce just doesn't have the talent to figure out how to do this on their own, so all of this is moot.

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01-27-2011, 11:45 AM
  #279
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Originally Posted by RandyHolt View Post
I will take a stab at it. Beating the trap requires proper entry, usually dumping it in if the center or blue is clogged. The key, I think you have to have the slow dump to pound the defensemen assuming we dont have 12 Chimera's that will always get to that puck first. You pound that guy, the puck magically always ends up on a Caps stick, the defense virtually frozen in their skates. We have to pounce on that moment. Simply dumping and then expecting our guys to somehow outwork someone that is of equal size and strength in the same profession... becomes a coin flip at best. "Outwork them" falls on deaf ears IMAAO. Teams on average, all things equal, generally work the same amount, right?

You have to be methodical and systematically pound a certain Dman. Figure out which guy cant take the hit to make the play. Target him. No more Mr. Nice guy. Fack politcal correctness and target someone that is injured if he is the weakest link. Survival of the fittest.

When we talk 1 goal decides a game, every single advantage needs to be exploited to make the game more than a coin flip. Beating the trap? Starts with beating the trap out of the defensemen (I put that in for you Tex).

Also, its critical to finish your best chances, usually the PP. You cant choke with your teams best scoring chance.
i agree. i had a coach put it to us simply as "you can fight for the puck at the blue line, or you can fight for the puck behind their net."

the on caveat i'd put on this is that there are a few guys who have the speed and the puck control to just find a gap and challenge a flat-footed defender. a guy like mojo can do it, but isn't much of a punishing hitter, so maybe making him dump, chase and smash isn't the best idea. it's best not to stifle personnel's natural strengths with a system that doesn't really fit (see: petr prucha in a rangers uniform).

anything but i'll-advised passes at the blueline. drives me nuts.

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01-27-2011, 11:55 AM
  #280
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@Capsman-it was cardiomyopathy/congestive heart failure. ken was fun to listen to and a nice guy. very giving of his time. particularly with kids like me.
the playoff misery can really work your head. it does mine. since they always lose, should they ever win it will be heaven.

Beating the trap. I would suggest that the caps did beat the trap last night. the trap is a neutral zone defense that results in odd man breaks when the play if forced thru it. the caps played most of the night in the atlanta zone and didnt have turnovers turned into goals against which is the definition of beating the trap. what they didnt beat was the thrashers d zone defense and goaltender.
Ken was a nice guy. I called in a few times and he never made me feel stupid with any question I asked. It's a very different world we live in when you compare him to guys like the Sports Reporters, who are nauseatingly sarcastic on air. Not only that but I don't believe they had the depth of knowledge Ken did. Ken would talk X's and O's, analyze teams' talent, etc. The closest radio personality to that nowadays around here is Kevin Sheehan (a watered down version). A friend of mine used to be an intern with him, his name is Kamran. I remember Ken saying his name a lot on air.

As for the trap, I would say that the Caps beat it sometimes. There were usually 3 or 4 attempts of either one guy trying to break through solo or a poor dump before we would get one right. The reason we held territorial advantage was because our defense was on top of its game and Atlanta could rarely sustain anything (although they were very dangerous in spurts, especially Byfuglien...isn't that the story line for most of our recent games with Atlanta?). I didn't think we sustained that much effective pressure.

Times when we did make an effective dump, it was what we did afterwards with which I had a problem. We are not very effective cyclers, and I don't think it's simply a strength on the puck issue. The puck movement, in my mind, just doesn't seem snappy enough. We also have trouble transitioning from the puck along the boards to opportunities in the slot. We got it back a few times to the point, which is an improvement, but I can't stress enough that I think it's about puck movement. Guys are thinking too much, to the point that the defense is always back in position again (whether ultimately a shot or pass). That just reminds me of a team that does not have a lot of practice experience in those situations.

I don't know, maybe I am completely wrong and 4 month from now will happily eat grilled crow.

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01-27-2011, 12:00 PM
  #281
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So Ovechkin attempting to go 1v5 against the trap is probably the worst thing we could do... which is just about every shift he has taken lately.

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01-27-2011, 12:02 PM
  #282
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Originally Posted by blokeyhighlander View Post
So Ovechkin attempting to go 1v5 against the trap is probably the worst thing we could do... which is just about every shift he has taken lately.
Uh, he did that maybe once last night.

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01-27-2011, 12:38 PM
  #283
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Times when we did make an effective dump, it was what we did afterwards with which I had a problem. We are not very effective cyclers, and I don't think it's simply a strength on the puck issue. The puck movement, in my mind, just doesn't seem snappy enough. We also have trouble transitioning from the puck along the boards to opportunities in the slot. We got it back a few times to the point, which is an improvement, but I can't stress enough that I think it's about puck movement. Guys are thinking too much, to the point that the defense is always back in position again (whether ultimately a shot or pass). That just reminds me of a team that does not have a lot of practice experience in those situations.

I don't know, maybe I am completely wrong and 4 month from now will happily eat grilled crow.
I think that its worth while to look at specifics. when beagle, johansson and laich were cycling the puck last night, which they did at lenth on several occasions, you have to take into account who's there. or not there. there is not one catch and shoot player there. beagle and laich have the strenth to power thru checks in the corner and johansson the speed and stick skills to chase loose pucks.

The other thing that I suggest you look at is how few players the Caps have that have the hands to produce high speed puck movement. Green looked on top of that game last night. But who else is there. Carlson and Johansson are capable but as rookies they are still thinking the game thru. Ovechkin clearly has a hands issue. All the whiffing and shanking and inability to catch a good pass makes that clear. Backstrom....beats me, but he's not passing the puck crisply at all. Semin is out. Fehr is out. Two catch and shoot players who are replaced by Chimera and Hendricks and Beagle right now.

Right now this roster is two stars who's hands are not working, a couple of rookies, and a bunch of grinders. The Caps defense is more capable of passing the puck right now than the forwards.

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01-27-2011, 12:43 PM
  #284
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Originally Posted by blokeyhighlander View Post
So we're essentially trying to trap the opponent in a breakout formation, force the turnover through physicality and tight coverage, and capitalize on that turnover as the net should be open if the opponent is in a breakout formation? (That is if we're NOT playing the trap)
ummmm i dunno. That may be right. But I see us trying to put lots of pressure once we get the puck in deep. Bruce is dialing up every defensemen to take every risk needed to keep the puck in the offensive zone, keep up the pressure, tire them and eek out a goal. When you Sarge in deep, its obvious what the directive is. Usually, its just really Alzner or Erskine (not so much Green and Carlson as one could expect).

If we commit to keep our center up so high, we must use defensemen offensively.

I think Bruce needs to try easing the defensive responsibility of our centermen, tell the DDmen to be DDmen, and unleash Backstrom. Let offensive players our C's focus on offense, and let defensemen focus on defense. One problem I never liked about his system, why do you have obstensibly have Alzner at forward and MP covering him playing defense, so frequently?

Lost in the whats wrong with Nick talks are that our team is committed more then ever from defense from our center. You could see it all year. I think its hurting our offense. Unleash the Sverigian Beast.

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01-27-2011, 12:45 PM
  #285
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Uh, he did that maybe once last night.
He does it more than he should. Outside of that goal against FLA his rushes into the zone have been unproductive and in many cases counterproductive recently.

While slightly unrelated, Ovechkin (24th), Green (13th), and Carlson (15th) all rank in the top 25 in giveaways this season. Granted that is a product of ice time and playing the puck more than other players.

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01-27-2011, 01:10 PM
  #286
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Ovechkin and Green were 9th and 13th in giveaways last season, and 1st and 4th the season before.

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01-27-2011, 01:17 PM
  #287
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Ovechkin and Green were 9th and 13th in giveaways last season, and 1st and 4th the season before.
Ovechkin was more effective the last two seasons. Until he gets his shot back he's not going to be as effective. I'm encouraged that his legs seem to be coming back to him as of the last couple weeks but his shot is still missing. I hope it's not something serious with his wrist but I am hoping his whiffing/inaccuracy is attributable to a minor injury (i.e. something quickly (relatively) fixable).

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01-27-2011, 01:35 PM
  #288
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his legs will create chances. til his hands are back to normal the chances dont matter. he has had nothing on his shot all season. the whiffing and shanking are all about not having any hands.

something is damaged there. i more and more think that is the case with backstrom as well. no snap on his shots or passing. the goal he scored the other day was poking a rebound in the crease into an empty net. maybe its just meatballs with him, but that would mean his stamina and skating would suffer and that would show in his defensive game and his pk game and his faceoffs. those things he seems to be better at this season. so...

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01-27-2011, 01:37 PM
  #289
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Originally Posted by blokeyhighlander View Post
Ovechkin was more effective the last two seasons. Until he gets his shot back he's not going to be as effective. I'm encouraged that his legs seem to be coming back to him as of the last couple weeks but his shot is still missing. I hope it's not something serious with his wrist but I am hoping his whiffing/inaccuracy is attributable to a minor injury (i.e. something quickly (relatively) fixable).
so in other words, your last two points boil down to "Ovechkin needs to stop turning the puck over so much, turning the puck over so much is what is killing him this season. Except that it isn't.

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01-27-2011, 01:46 PM
  #290
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what happened to Ovie on bench last night? i couldn't tell from the NHL.com clip. obviously he got hit in the face, but i didn't see the culprit.

did No. 39 work his magic again?

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01-27-2011, 02:22 PM
  #291
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what happened to Ovie on bench last night? i couldn't tell from the NHL.com clip. obviously he got hit in the face, but i didn't see the culprit.

did No. 39 work his magic again?
Reporters were saying it looked like he got speared or crosschecked during the scrum in front of the net. Thought I read he only missed one shift following it though.

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01-27-2011, 02:26 PM
  #292
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as mcphee said on NHL live. this is a copy cat league and every team we are going to see from now on will be running the trap on us.

My theory of how to beat the trap weve been seeing is pretty simple. You have to resort back to old school hockey. Dump and chase and a strong forcheck. If teams are stacking the line with 3 skaters in the netural zone you are not going to skate through it or pass around it with any regular success .
No one wants to see OV NB or AS as grinders, but thats how you beat it

And seeing the trap so much now is a good thing come playoff time. It gives the players and coaches more time to adjust for the new way teams are defendinf us

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01-27-2011, 02:36 PM
  #293
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Oh and MP85 is not the type of player that would successful with the grinding/physical game that is needed to break the trap. He not really a strong forechecker or around the boards

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01-27-2011, 03:01 PM
  #294
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I don't like that we always have the right wing on the top line as the puck retriever.

OV is our hardest hitter/ and also one of our fastest.

Regroup in the D-zone instead of OV cutting across looking for the pass just as he hits the opponents blueline. Have him gather speed. Have Nick or Green carry it all the way to the red line and then dump it with Alex at full speed coming down the left wing. Nick then places himself in the slot and (random RW) on the RW boards. I guarantee that defender sends the puck up the boards one way or the other. RW gets it he sends it to the slot. Nick can also fill in behind Alex on the LW boards and let our defender drift into the middle for a shot.

I am not a Hockey coach, but I just think having Alex carry it through the neutral zone isn't working. At the same time Knuble isn't fast enough to get in and force the defender. Chimera is but I don't know I just don't see why Alex isn't the spear of the forecheck.

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01-27-2011, 03:03 PM
  #295
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so in other words, your last two points boil down to "Ovechkin needs to stop turning the puck over so much, turning the puck over so much is what is killing him this season. Except that it isn't.
No, it was a continuation of what we were talking about in how to beat the trap. This is what I was getting at:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovechkins Wodka View Post
as mcphee said on NHL live. this is a copy cat league and every team we are going to see from now on will be running the trap on us.

My theory of how to beat the trap weve been seeing is pretty simple. You have to resort back to old school hockey. Dump and chase and a strong forcheck. If teams are stacking the line with 3 skaters in the netural zone you are not going to skate through it or pass around it with any regular success .
No one wants to see OV NB or AS as grinders, but thats how you beat it

And seeing the trap so much now is a good thing come playoff time. It gives the players and coaches more time to adjust for the new way teams are defendinf us
As TXPD said, his legs can create chances again, but he doesn't have the hands to finish at the moment. Until Ovy has his shot back, we need to see more dump and chase from that line if we want it to be effective. Taking long shifts and failing to put pressure on won't help the situation.

Ovy could make those giveaways count in previous seasons with how successful he was - a medium risk/high reward mentality - whereas now since he can't finish those chances to create the high reward scenario that line will need to adapt to a different playing style.

He's turned into a better passer, let's put that more to use.

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01-27-2011, 03:07 PM
  #296
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understand that a giveaway is anywhere on the ice. If Ov loses possession behind the attacking net, its a giveaway.

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01-27-2011, 04:21 PM
  #297
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On the issue of OV being injured or not, I'm a little perplexed as to what type of injury it could be, exactly. There are numerous overuse injuries, contusions, etc. that will get better with some rest and physical therapy. I would hope they didn't play him through something like that, very shortsighted.

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01-29-2011, 09:59 AM
  #298
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I don't like that we always have the right wing on the top line as the puck retriever.

OV is our hardest hitter/ and also one of our fastest.

Regroup in the D-zone instead of OV cutting across looking for the pass just as he hits the opponents blueline. Have him gather speed. Have Nick or Green carry it all the way to the red line and then dump it with Alex at full speed coming down the left wing. Nick then places himself in the slot and (random RW) on the RW boards. I guarantee that defender sends the puck up the boards one way or the other. RW gets it he sends it to the slot. Nick can also fill in behind Alex on the LW boards and let our defender drift into the middle for a shot.

I am not a Hockey coach, but I just think having Alex carry it through the neutral zone isn't working. At the same time Knuble isn't fast enough to get in and force the defender. Chimera is but I don't know I just don't see why Alex isn't the spear of the forecheck.
The puck retriever takes the most physical abuse and pretty spends all their time close to the boards or the net, usually getting dirty goals. The last thing we need to be doing is turning Ovechkin into a faster Backes or Malone. Not only will he be worn down horribly, but his biggest asset (his shot) will not be utilized. The rest of his arsenal (speed, size, physicality) is just there to get him into position to use his shot. We need Ovechkin to be Ovechkin. If he doesn't return to being who he was up until this year, this team is screwed.

Get a Ryan Callahan or Nikolai Kulemin type for the RW and you'll be set with a puck retriever.

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01-29-2011, 10:35 AM
  #299
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It just seems that everybody on the caps is afraid to shoot because all of them have been a bit snake bit, the only ones shooting are the rookies and they are still learning how to shoot in the NHL.

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01-29-2011, 01:27 PM
  #300
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On the issue of OV being injured or not, I'm a little perplexed as to what type of injury it could be, exactly. There are numerous overuse injuries, contusions, etc. that will get better with some rest and physical therapy. I would hope they didn't play him through something like that, very shortsighted.
There are numerous joint injuries that are unlikely to get worse with continued play, but require extensive rehab time to be fixed properly. Patrick McNeill missed 8 months with a shoulder injury and scored goals in the Bears Finals victory.

it could be a bone spur. a calcium deposit. it could be ligament damage. Micheal Nylander played with his shoulder injury for two months and it was considered among the worst rotator cuff tears that you can get.

I dont know whats wrong with him. He got a cortisone shot which is generally used in sports to reduce the pain so that a player can play. We have never been told when that injury occurred or what injury it was to treat other than his left wrist.

When asked about it, he blew the question off with a non-answer.

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